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Concordia University Student William Groombridge Sues Over B+ Grade

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A Montreal college student is so upset over a B+ he received in a political science class that he wants to teach the school a lesson in court.

The Montreal Gazette reports student William Groombridge is suing Concordia University for downgrading his mark from an A-, claiming the school arbitrarily made the change to meet a quota, even though he deserved the higher grade.

Groombridge, 41, filed in small-claims court to recover the $342 fee for the Energy Policy class he took in the fall of 2011.

"The chair of the (political science) department had a hidden policy that the rule is no more than 25 percent of any class gets an A,” Groombridge told the Gazette. “But they didn’t bell curve it, they just eliminated some A's -- and that’s a biased policy.”

According to CTV News, Groombridge received an 81 percent in the class, a grade that qualified him for an A- under course guidelines. But his transcript showed a B+ and he asked his professor, Felix von Geyer, to explain.

Groombridge said the professor agreed he deserved an A and told him the department chair was enforcing a rule that no more than 25 percent of students get an A, and had requested a downgrade for four students. The professor had never heard of such a rule, Groombridge told the station, and even produced an email from the professor reflecting his claim.

The Star writes that Groombridge's slightly lower grade probably wouldn't affect him much -- he's a computer programmer and business owner who takes classes part-time to "keep his brain exercised," he said.

But after a complaint to the school ombudsman, meetings with Political Science Chair Csaba Nikolenyi and other school offiicials, and a letter from a lawyer requesting the $342 refund, an exasperated Groombridge moved ahead with his legal action in June. “I’m the charging elephant that keeps getting closer and closer and bigger and scarier and noisier,” he told the Star.

Concordia faculty and administrators declined to comment to several media outlets.

The claim could take two years to decide, CTV reported. In the meantime, Groombridge will have to earn an A in patience.

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